I am Pro-Life
I've almost always been pro-life.
I say 'almost' because there was a period in my life around the time I was 16 that I was surrounded by pro-choice friends and I never cared enough to do my own research, so instead just agreed with everything they said. I mean, it made sense. A woman's body is a woman's body... Who has the right to dictate what she does with it?
Finding God definitely shifted this thinking for me. But it wasn't until I started to finally do my own research, with an open mind, that I realized just what I had been supporting.
I am now pregnant, and though I have been a proud pro-lifer for years now, I don't think I was prepared for just how profoundly pregnancy would impact further my opinion on abortion.
At 9 weeks I had my first ultrasound. I was really nervous and didn't know what to expect. Would I see anything? Would there be a heartbeat? Not knowing what came next wrapped my stomach in knots.
Then the technician called my name. It was my turn. I went into the room where I'd be having my ultrasound, changed into the hospital robe, and laid down. I held my breathe. I'm pretty sure my heart stopped a couple of times too (I was THAT nervous).
The technician applied gel to my stomach and the ultrasound began. I couldn't yet see anything because she had turned the screen away from me so that she could first do everything she needed to do. I remember watching her face very intently, but there was no emotion. The definition of a poker face. I had no clue what was on that screen.
Then, she turned the screen towards me.
I looked at it and immediately burst into tears. There, on the screen, was my 9-week-old baby, fully formed with it's little head, arms, tummy, legs and feet. And a heartbeat! A very strong one at that. I was in awe that this little human was growing in me.
The technician gave me the green-light to invite my husband into the room. He came in and the moment he looked at the screen, his face filled with so much joy and emotion that I don't think I've ever seen. He held my hand as together we marvelled at this precious little baby.
This moment changed my life in many ways.
Firstly, it made me even more fiercely pro-life. Knowing that the majority of abortions are performed after 9 weeks absolutely breaks my heart. These little babies are very much living. My baby, even though at that point he or she was only the size of a cherry, was moving its little arm and legs around so much. These are living beings that need our protection, at all stages.
The second way it changed my life is that it has made me ponder on a deeper level what abortion is. The most famous line we hear (and I have in the past said myself) is "my body, my choice". This could not be more untrue. The little life inside a woman's womb is separate from a woman's body; again, fully formed by 9 weeks with its own organs, arms, and legs. It made me think about how it is the complete opposite of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass where Christ says to us, "this is My Body, given up for you". It's like Peter Kreeft (Catholic apologetic) put it, "Abortion is the Antichrist’s demonic parody of the Eucharist. That is why it uses the same holy words, ‘This is my body,’ with the blasphemously opposite meaning.” In abortion, sacrifice is replaced by selfishness.
And on that note: Sacrifice. Being pregnant has taught me what the Catholic faith is all about. Catholicism is selflessness, humility, and dying to ourselves for the other, just as Christ died for us. I feel like a lot of the rhetoric in the pro-choice community surrounds focus on 'me' rather than on 'the other'.
Someone said to me: well, what if doctors told you that you would die by giving birth to your child?
And with genuine pondering on this, I have come to the definite answer that yes, I would be willing to lose my life for this child if it were in danger. This is what my heart desires, but also what is required of me as a mother.
It's also what my mother did for me.
You see, my mother became pregnant with me when she was 45 years old. The doctors then told her that not only was the pregnancy high-risk and she could lose her life by giving birth to me, but they also told her that I would most likely have down syndrome. They pressured her at every appointment to abort me. And yet, my mother selflessly never even entertained this as an option. In the end, my mother lives to this day and I don't have down syndrome. (I am just shocked that this, to this day, continues to be a reason people have abortions).
I am forever grateful to have been conceived to a mother that was pro-life, and it breaks my heart that there are some defenseless babies who will not have as much luck.
No matter what one's situation is, when it comes to the topic of abortion, we must remember the word "sacrifice". True love, wholeness, and sainthood all require sacrifice. No one said this was to be an easy topic to discuss with others, but it is an important one. We must love and protect those that are the most vulnerable: children in their mother's womb. We must do this by standing up for them and giving them a voice.
Let us not fear the persecution that the world imposes on those who stand up for life and instead be comforted by Christ's words, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." (John 15:18-20).
We have all had the privilege of being born; let us pray that we one day live in a society that will not take away that privilege from others.
With love, Kasia